cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

got2getatan
Grafter
Posts: 63
Registered: 14-06-2013

High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

Hi wondered if anyone could help. Knocking my head against a brick wall with my supplier EON. Detached bungalow,two adults and heating is provided by 7 storage heaters of various sizes. Use Economy7 and Heatwise(supposed to be cheap hot water afternoon and evening). Bad news is that that my annual electricity bill is £3,100+ and even on Eons website when I put my details in it states that I am paying 95% more than other simular Eon customers. Assuming that all my wiring is ok and I get rid of this Heatwise and keep Economy 7 the only thing I have not updated is my storage heaters. Any else got the same problem and can anyone recommend a good storage heater replacement. Eon just don't want to help, well it's money in the bank to them. Thanks.
28 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,316
Thanks: 465
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

Stay up later one night and monitor on your meter how much energy your Night storage heaters are pulling when everything else is switched off. You then be able to assess how much alternative heating methods would cost.
Second step make sure your building insulation is good: 30cm of fibreglass in the attic is the best value if you need to add extra. Doubleglazing is not such a good investment in terms of enregy saving.
In terms of central/water heating a wood chip/wood pellet boiler gives good long term value if you have access to capital funds and space to install it. They run at about 5p per KW hour and potentially you can claim money back from the government for using it as an alternative to electricity for heating.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,832
Thanks: 1,121
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

1. How old are you.
2. are you receiving any state benefits
3. do you have a gas supply
4 if yes to 3 ... consider the cost of changing your existing storage heaters for newer versions ( and the install costs) to having a gas central heating boiler ( combi ) fitted, with radiatiors.
If you are over 60 , and/or receving state benefits, you may be able to apply to EON for an energy assessment,.... this is for FREE loft insulation , cavity wall insulation and boiler  ( not necessarily all free but grants available )..

I have just applied to SSE for Free loft insulation in a rented property.   have had two assessors visit, and could get FREE loft insulation in about 4 to 6 weeks... don`t need a new boiler as the one we have is only 2 yrs old, and the walls already have cavity wall insulation...
EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT
just found this page which may be useful.......
http://www.affordablewarmthgrants.co.uk/heating-grants/info-central-heating-grants

nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

I think the problem with storage rads is that they are cheap to install and very expensive to run.
When we bought this house in 1985 it was ten years old and had storage rads and underfloor heating - obviously a deal between the builders and the then Eastern Electric.
At that point British Gas made owners a cheap installation offer and we got house price reduced by the cost and had gas central heating installed.
We don't stint on heating ( 3 bed semi) and current E.On estimate is £1000 dual fuel Age UK.
got2getatan
Grafter
Posts: 63
Registered: 14-06-2013

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

Aged 72 and 67. No benefits unless you include a war pension and we do not have gas in my village. My loft insulation  is 41 years old and a bit tatty so replacing it might cost some . Have cavity wall insulation which is again 41 years old. Eon have stated that I am on the best tariff but I am still paying 95% more than most  of its customers. Tried to get a smart meter installed by Eon but they reckon the end of 2016 before I get it. Purchased two smart meters from Eco-Eye to monitor my supply/usage but will have to wait until winter to get a correct usage forecast. Eon  are just not helpful at all. I have been told to upgrade my storage heaters and Dimplex and Creda  Quantum have been suggested  but the cost of these are £750 each. Have Economy 7 for the storage heaters and at the moment Heatwise for the hot water. Eon only provide Heatwise and I think its a bit of a con so am thinking of binning it to the delight of Eon. I am paying £265 a month for electricity and Eon want to up my direct debit. Hope this explains.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

Ok - firstly electric heating while expensive is 100% efficient. Every watt you use and pay for is converted to heat.
If you are on the best tariff possible for the overnight heating of the storage heaters then you can only really bring your costs down by a couple of ways :
1. Turn down your heating temperature
2. Insulate your property as much as you can
3. Look at alternative engergy i.e. oil fired boilers etc.
There is another option that you might want to consider and don't laugh but it is an air conditioning unit. Many of these will run in "reverse" and generate warm air instead of cold. The advantage of these is that they normally have an efficiency of > 2.6 i.e. for every watt of energy they consume, they output more than 2.6 watts of heat. We use these on a new building we've built and they seem pretty efficient.
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

How are your storage heaters and water heater fed from the meter?  Are they via time switches that only power them during the discount period?
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

At your ages I'd certainly explore the possibility of a grant for loft insulation upgrade.
https://www.eonenergy.com/for-your-home/saving-energy/need-little-extra-help
got2getatan
Grafter
Posts: 63
Registered: 14-06-2013

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

The storage heaters(brick type) are linked to the Economy 7 Tariff which activate between 1230 and 0730 only. The hot water tank is linked to the Heatwise meter and these activates 1300 to 1630 and  1730 to 2200 and then finally 2400 to 0700. Just spoke to Eon today for the third time  and they seem to added  time, anyway some good news because they sending an engineer out this month to check the meter. Will keep you informed. Thanks for your ongoing advice.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,374
Thanks: 630
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

If the loft insulation is 41 years old it's absolutely certain it's way, way, way below current standards. How thick is it?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,921
Thanks: 514
Fixes: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

You have to be careful with leccy meters. Despite supposedly performing to very strict standards, they can and do become unreliable.
I had a pre-payment meter years ago that did the same thing too. It would cut off with 2p left on it. Not a big issue really and I figured perhaps it was just not updating the display properly. Then it started creeping up, and up, and up. It eventually hit 50p. I contacted the leccy board who insisted it was not at fault and to continue feeding the thing on demand. This I did and it ended up cutting out numerous times with over £3 on it and I'd then end up using the emergency leccy despite having plenty of credit left.
It got so bad that I contacted them again and told them the unit was clearly defective and that I wanted it removed. Now the leccy companies aren't known for cooperating when it comes to removal of key meters as they like the tariff and it guarantees their income however they did agree to inspect the thing. Sure enough they found it faulty and I told them they put in a normal meter or I was going to see them in court. Needless to say the 11:48pm rush to the off licence became a thing of the past!
I know thats a prepayment and not a normal meter but it still shows that despite the strict standards, they can and do go wrong.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,316
Thanks: 465
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

200mm roof insulation = £4.22 per sq metre (£3.56 per Sq Yard) at Wickes. It just rolls across the top of the beams and the existing insulation. It does make a real difference to the heat loss through your ceilings. If your loft is clear allow say an extra £80 for 1 day's labour and make sure your roof tank (if any) is insulated too.
Here's a Daily Telegraph article
If your storage heaters are positioned against outside walls think about heat reflective panels behind them
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,374
Thanks: 630
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

Quote from: AlaricAdair
It just rolls across the top of the beams and the existing insulation

That assumes that the existing insulation is 3"-4" thick. If it's 41 years old it could possibly only be 1".
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,912
Thanks: 593
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

If that's an average sized bungalow it's certainly a lot of money to be paying per annum, as others have suggested insulation is the first thing to look at, some things can be done fairly cheaply such as a heavy curtain pulled across the back & Front door along with draft sealing tape for windows. I Think most heat is lost through the roof so a minimum of 6 inches or more of loft insulation is a must.
Years ago I seem to remember lots of storage heaters ending up on rubbish tips as they went very much out of fashion, one problem is that they would heat up during the night but the next day if it was warm then the cost of heating them up was largely wasted, perhaps modern storage heaters work on a different principle and I see one  German company has been advertising them a lot recently.
kdoug007
Grafter
Posts: 510
Registered: 17-05-2012

Re: High Electricity Bills - Night Storage Heaters

hate  to  say this  but  m8s  are  right  storage  heaters  are  really  so expensive....
i only  use  heat when really  cold...  and  then its not  usually  centreal heating..
  more of a  artificial  fire  i use..